VAT refunds to public authorities

Part of Finance (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:30 pm ar 16 Ionawr 2018.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Mel Stride Mel Stride Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General 2:30, 16 Ionawr 2018

The hon. Member for Glasgow Central asked: why now? Why has this not been done before? I guess, as with all policy decisions taken in politics, there was a balance to be struck between resources available, the lobbying that occurred and the input of competing interests. Without going too far into this point, I think it is fair to say that since 2015, the lobbying became fairly intense. That is not to deny in any way that there was fairly intensive lobbying prior to 2015. The decision was taken in the round at the time of the Budget, when all the competing uses for the UK Exchequer’s funds were balanced up. The question, “Why now, rather than at any particular time in the past?” could be applied to almost any tax change. It is a fairly generic point, in that sense.

The hon. Member for Bootle was firm, as was the hon. Member for Aberdeen North, on the perceived unfairness of the original decision. I remind Members that the original decision was taken by the Scottish Government in the knowledge that restructuring their services in this way would have a particular impact on the ability to claim relief for VAT.